February 1, 2021 – Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/020121.cfm)
“If you look at the world, you will be distressed. If you look within, you will be depressed. If you look at God, you will be at rest.”
These are the words of wisdom and advice coming from Corrie (Cornelia) Ten Boom, a Christian Dutch Nazi-concentration camp survivor who experienced & surpassed not only the cruelty & inhumanity of Nazis people during the war the indifference of her fellow prisoners but also her own unfreedom/ helplessness in the concentration camps.
We may not have the same experience with Corrie in life, but we do have a sense & we could easily relate with her words of wisdom & advice. It is distressing indeed to look at world today. With the limitations & difficulties we are going through not only now during but even before pandemic, life has been quite stressful & distressful nowadays. No wonder cases & concerns for mental health nowadays are also on the rise, because if & when we look within ourselves, life has also been depressing. The disappointments, frustrations, worries, anger, & helplessness we are going through now, caused by our distressing, inconvenient & limiting world, could be so depressing, bounding & possessing. (mahigtan ug matuok ta, sa ato pa makapabuang nato).
Not unlike with our demoniac or the possessed man in our gospel today. Dramatic may our gospel be, we cannot deny that the man is already possessed & overburdened by his demons and crushed by people’s stigma on him. Like him, with our distressing world & depressing selves, we may also have felt possessed, burdened, & shackled by a lot of things going on & happening in our lives nowadays.
But most significant in our gospel today is when the demoniac “catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him”. In other words, he looked & gazed on Jesus, went near, & bowed down not only in fear but more so in respect & honor to pray to Jesus. In the same way, if & whenever we also recognize, welcome & allow God thru His Son Jesus into our lives, we will be at peace & at rest, even in midst of our today’s distressing world & depressing self. Not only that, we will be also free from our life- shackles (kadena/higot) & receive a new direction & mission in life. So, For hope & direction, never stop looking at & looking for Jesus in life.
Corrie Ten Boom indeed is correct to advise us on life: “If you look at the world, you will be distressed. If you look within, you will be depressed. If you look at God, you will be at rest.”
Another way of saying this: “If you cannot sleep, stop counting the sheep. Talk to the Shepherd.”